Oleander – Unwind

Artist: Oleander
Title: Unwind
Label: Republic
Rating: 7.5/10

After Oleander’s first release, February Son, and its hit, “Why I’m Here”, took them out of obscurity, it doesn’t seem like it was a long wait for their sophomore release, Unwind.

Unwind is straight on rock ‘n’ roll.

“Come To Stay” is no-nonsense guitars and melodies. Singer/guitarist Thomas Flowers and cast really open it up on “Yours If You Like”. They are working to perfect giant pieces of ear candy while staying true to themselves. Unwind’s first single, “Are You There”, proves that they have done just that. It’s heavy-riffed with a melody that quenches even the thirstiest of listeners.

Unwind doesn’t really soar. “Benign” needs a few good listens. The bridge is as tasty as the chorus that finds the search for love and confusion, and the love doesn’t stop there as you find your way “Back Home Years Ago”, if only in your mind. “Jimmy Shaker Day” is mostly gibberish, but its driving punk force mixes it up giving the album a new flavor. Oleander rewards you for listening until the end with the powerfully melodic “She’s Up, She’s Down”.

Oleander doesn’t absorb you on your first listen. It took me a few tries with Unwind to really start to appreciate its grandeur. But only one listen to “Halo” and I found just how fast they’ve grown in a few years. Oleander may not be pacing themselves, but given a few more years you are sure to find a band that grows with you while growing on you.

+ rae gun

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